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PNG’S TOP COP SAYS SORCERY HARD TO PROSECUTE Teddy Tei appeals to sorcerers to stop

By Joshua Arlo PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Oct. 18, 2011) - Police investigations into sorcery-related crimes are very difficult as the alleged practicing of sorcery is a "superstitious acts" where police do not have physical evidence to convict a person in courts of law.

This is according to Chief Superintendent Teddy Tei, the provincial police commander of Southern Highlands.

In a statement, he also revealed that there is an increase of sorcery related problems recently experienced in the province.

[PIR editor’ s note: Three alleged suspected sorcerers recently died after being tortured and held hostage by angry villagers from the Pangia district in Southern Highlands province who say they were using sorcery to kill a young man. A fourth suspect, who managed to escape is fighting for his life in a hospital.]

Supt. Tei said that previously, other provinces dominated the scene relating to sorcery related crimes, however in recent years, it has crept into the province, resulted in some cases where people are killed by the communities suspicious of practicing sorcery.

He appealed to those alleged of practicing sorcery to refrain from doing so in the province, as well as to people not to kill or injure such people alleged of practicing sorcery within the communities in the province.

He said: "If you feel that you are possessed by such evil spirits, then you better go to church so that the living God almighty will cleansed you and purify you or deliver you from such evil possessed spirits.

"…Though the suspected people who practice sorcery using superstitious means, but we (police) can’t prove it in court, this does not warrant people to kill those suspected sorcerers’ on suspicions as you will be charged for willful murder of grievous bodily harm or whatever is appropriate."

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